Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"I'm doing what I'm doing for love." Valentine's Day, 2014.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author's program note. She was the best of wives and the best of mothers. She was such a Yiddishe momme right out of Sophie Tucker, we used to laugh about it. She was the life support for a feckless husband born into cozy wealth who discovered at mid life that he wanted to be a mime (no, I am not making this up) and left her to explain as best she could to her inquisitive Brookline neighbors that Joel had selected grease paint, vacant stare, and rigid immobility in preference to her and the 3 kids.

She was on the cutting edge of every progressive issue, as every good Jewish mother is. And this meant the whole feminist shtick, especially gender equality. She was also a card-carrying member of the "Thatsa my boy" club in which the beloved elder son accepts for a pampered lifetime not just praise but sacred veneration and constant service. And that's why I'm starting my story here, the place you discover just how very splendored love can really be.

 The first part takes place the year Ruth and Joel finally hit the divorce courts in the most amiable of actions. She was down but most assuredly not out and wanted to show her nosey friends and relations that she still had what it takes; that she'd had it with clowns of any age or shape, and that she'd snagged herself a wow of a man for her big come-back, one impressive dude, a Harvard man, someone cute and brainy, a goy of a boy, and what a kisser.

 Using these enticing features and a slew of others made up to enhance the brew soon had her BBF Marie salivating, a Wagnerian sized shrew who hadn't a single feminine attribute or charm of any kind, but made up for these unfortunate lapses by being really REALLY rich. Marie, interested, became Marie, nagging. When could she meet this prodigy who put her own male lapdog in the shade? And the sooner, the better... "So, stop with the excuses, already". It was put-up or shut up. How about a Valentine's Day dinner for 4 at the Cafe Budapest in Boston? There would be their famous cherry soup, tokay and Gypsy violinists, all on Marie of course. As I told you, she was REALLY rich.

 "Jeffrey, I have a BIG favor to ask you."

The white stretch limousine was ontime to the minute, 7:30 p.m. All the characters were present. Marie was over dressed in what she called a Hungarian hussar costume; a tight fitting blue bodice with miles of gold thread and epaulettes that would have made a minor Habsburg archduke proud. I didn't know whether to laugh or salute... so I muttered the usual "glad to meet yous" and scrunched down to get in the Guido-mobile. But where was Marie's 'til death do us part?

Marie later told me she thought it would be "fun" if she dressed him as a Viennese coachman, circa 1880. No symbolism here, of course. He looked ridiculous, of course. Maybe that was Marie's intention. If so, she got her wish. His uniform was clearly two or three sizes too big for him. His top hat fell over his eyes... and his boots, while polished, were like flip-flops. I saluted him and tried to limit my smile to the appropriate length Emily Post recommended when you meet hubby the lap dog. I made it just a bit bigger because I felt sorry for the schlemiel. After all, he looked like Marie's lunch.

Ruth looked... well, I was bowled over. She was cute as a bug in a rug with a (was it?) mink collar. "Ruthie," Marie said,"you look..." and then she said it again as if she didn't quite believe what she was seeing "Henny, doesn't Ruthie look..." As her eyes took in every feature of my winsome self, you could see she was licking her lips, thinking Mazel tov... Mazel tov! And as if to answer Marie and establish ownership, my friend Ruth planted a kiss on me that was a lollapalooza of the genre, the real deal. I never saw it coming.

Okay, I looked terrific that evening. For a guy as disinterested in clothes as I was, (except for the blue cape with red silk lining I got on Carnaby Street in London), I could look like the well turned out gentleman my mother always demanded. I was wearing black tie evening dress, the duds cut by Oxford University's comme il faut tailor.

 I was washed, brushed, combed, ironed, buttoned, zipped, bow-tied, with a smile nicely calibrated to be just proper enough to meet her friends and just wicked enough that she'd want to dump them as soon as possible. Rarely has any friend done so much to achieve the desired result. As I was complimenting myself, extolling my finesse and magnanimity Ruthie snuggled up as if there was no tomorrow. As for Marie, she never took her eyes off Ruth, which meant she never took her eyes off me. There was certainly a lot to look at...

"Madam, I understand today is a very special day. These flowers have just arrived for you."

With that the waiter handed over the biggest, most entrancing bouquet I had ever seen. And I got a real smacker as thanks. My initial was on the card... along with that fatal word "love." Only problem is, I didn't send them. I could guess of course, but I couldn't ask. The sender counted on my discretion, on not blurting anything out but playing my part in the play with consummate skill... and I did.

Ruth got up and hoisted a piece of exquisite crystal which featured the double-headed imperial eagle. The sommelier, standing by, filled it with the finest tokay, and then filled the other three glasses, too. She never looked more beautiful, more determined, more certain of what she must say or how she would say it. The game had suddenly become very serious indeed. And every diner in the Cafe Budapest that memorable evening, immersed as they were in their own rituals of love, knew it.

Ruth, a practised thespian of so many years, had what every actor wants... a dedicated and sympathetic audience, in rapt attention, waiting expectantly for whatever she might say or do. She took her knife and hit her glass three times in prescribed fashion... then she turned and looked at me... her song beginning.

" I am one of those the world looked down on. I'm not what they think I ought to be. Love has made me do things people frown on. But love is life and everything to me."

 She was singing to me. Her hands stroked my hair. Her eyes locked on mine. Her look was plaintive. She wanted me to know her, love her. She needed me to know that love wasn't just an important thing.... it was the only thing.

 She breathed, she loved. She laughed, she loved. She cried, she loved. It was who she was... what she did. There was no beginning to it... no end. She was the Biblical Ruth of old... whither thou goest, I goeth.

Every person in the restaurant knew he was hearing searing honesty... total integrity. There was no art... no artifice... nothing but one woman and the man she had selected, giving everything, hoping for everything, too proud to ask for anything.

Then the song was over, its last words hanging in the air,

"If the after years bring me tears, it's all right, I'm satisfied. I've broken man made laws, but heaven will forgive me because I'm doing what I'm doing for love."

I wanted to say something, but everything that needed to be said had been said. She knew. And so before I opened my mouth, she touched my lips and whispered "Thanks for tonight. Thanks for everything." I should have gone down on one knee and said them to her...


 Sophie Tucker (1886-1966) was known for her brassy, over-the-top style.. Where men were concerned her tastes were insistent and voracious, entirely appropriate for the "Last of the Red Hot Mammas." But in 1929 she showed the world a very different, tender, beseeching side. The song was "I'm Doing What I'm Doing For Love", and it was that song that was sung for me that evening that is one of a handful of perfect occasions of my eventful life. 67 this year, I haven't married. Go now to any search engine and play this tune and remember your perfect moment and what you did for love... or might still do.

About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is an avid collector, as well as author of 18 best selling business and marketing books, several ebooks and over one thousand online articles.

Republished with author's permission by William Buckley

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What is the difference between Pure Leverage, Empower Network, GlobalNPN, and Worldprofit?

Without dissecting each one I can honestly say, they all cost money, they all pay well, they all give you the tools you need to succeed. I have been a member of all of them at one time or another. I think you can be successful in each one if not all. Here is where I must include my disclaimer, even though you can make money with each of them, I do have a favorite which I will share in a minute.

First, why are you here? Are you here to make money online? Of course you are! First, I want to tell you the dirty little secret. You have to work in order to make money online. I know you wanted to get the magic button that just throws money at you without having to do anything.

Of all the programs online I have become partial to the Worldprofit training and tools. The number one best reason is the live business center. You work hard to generate traffic and they work hard to show everyone who comes in how great the program is. There is no other program online that offers this. On the other side when you do upgrade, you get a suite of tools that will simply overwhelm you. George is constantly adding videos and tools for you to learn and use. It is amazing how much one program can grow and offer products other programs only wish for.

There really is no reason to be a part of anything else online. One of the biggest benefits is the community. Everyone helps each other and shares what works for them every day. I encourage you to join for free and get one of the free traffic generating tools or if you can do it I strongly encourage you to upgrade for one month to see what is under the hood.

Will Buckley

Real E-Profit Online

Thursday, February 6, 2014

'That song really sticks with you, doesn't it?' An appreciation for the life of Pete Seeger, patriarch of the American protest song, dead at 94, January 27, 2014.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

 Author's program note. When I heard that Pete Seeger had died I was 16 all over  again, immersed in the righteous rituals of American adolescence, which in that  year of our Lord 1973 meant the music and always pointed lyrics of Pete Seeger,  the man who used singalong music and gentle verse to remind us of where  we'd come from, what we had lost along the way, and what we needed to  recapture at the risk of losing the best of what we were if we failed. 

 Pete Seeger, you see, wasn't just a gifted musician with the ability to  get his strongly held views across with minimum rancor and animosity. He  wasn't just a gifted lyricist with a poet's discerning skill for selecting just the  right word. He wasn't just an entertainer who skillfully performed but who  touched his audiences, making them feel, right down to the very youngest, that  they mattered and could make the significant difference for good we all want to  make.

 Seeger was all this and more, but more than all this he was the lyric  conscience of the Great Republic, a man who sung what he believed and  what he knew America must remember or lose our very soul. He knew what  to say and how to say it not just for the moment but for ages yet to come, ages  that would thank him for refreshing their tired and often daunted spirits which  needed such revival in order to forge ahead.

 For as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told Seeger after hearing his iconic  rendition of "We Shall Overcome","That song really sticks with you, doesn't it?" They  all did... and we all felt better because of it. We felt linked to each other, empowered  by each other, valued, and yes, loved by each other. Seeger sang, and life seemed  worth living again and each of us a child of possibility and joy.

 Seeger, the early years, working out which side he was on.

 Seeger was born in New York City May 3,1919 into what he described as a family  "enormously Christian, in the Puritan, Calvinist New England tradition." A paternal  ancestor, Karl Ludwig Seeger, a physician from Wurttemberg, Germany, had  emigrated to America during the American Revolution and married into an old  New England family in the 1780s.

 Seeger's father, the Harvard-trained composer and musicologist, Charles Louis  Seeger, Jr., was born in Mexico City. He established the first musicology curriculum  in the United States at the University of California in 1913, and was a key founder  of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology. His mother, Constance de Clyver  (nee' Edson), raised in Tunisia, trained at the Paris Conservatory of Music, was a  concert violinist and later a teacher at the Juilliard School.

 Young Seeger's world was distinguished, artistic, international in outlook, tolerant,  intellectual, cosmopolitan, free thinking, free speaking, where knowledge was valued,  conversation was sharp, witty, no respecter of persons; where children were most  assuredly not expected to be neither seen nor heard. Quite the contrary. It was an  exciting world which we in our "wired" age can only imagine, for our  ability to  "communicate" with each other has ensured our inability to do so.


From age 4, Seeger was away at boarding school, a card-carrying preppie  with all that entails. At 13 he was enrolled in the Avon Old Farms prep school in  Avon, Connecticut , from which he graduated in1936. That summer destiny  struck a shy, withdrawn, bookish boy in the unlikely form of the five-string banjo.

 It was at the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in western North Carolina near  Asheville, organized by local folklorist, lecturer, and traditional music performer  Bascom Lamar Lunsford, a force for preserving and performing the sounds of  the great Eastern mountains. The folks were hat-tippin' friendly, gaunt, austere,  God-fearing, hospitable to a fault, always ready to dance a measure and  thankee-ma'am for the privilege.

 There amidst the mountain folk, passionate in love and hate, young Seeger  heard his future. We may imagine it to be Lunsford's version of "Swannanoa  Tunnel" or "Dogget's Gap", which made even the most staid jump up and dance  like there was no tomorrow. Did he but know it, Pete Seeger, scion of New  England was home.     Harvard, short and sweet.

 In 1936, at the age of 17, Seeger joined the Young Communist League like  so many idealistic and ill-informed young people did. It may have been  the single worst decision of his life; in 1942, he compounded his blunder by  becoming a member of the Communist Party, USA.

 He was older now, and this fateful decision reverberated through his entire life,  limiting his influence, doing no good whatsoever as he soon came to see and admit,  but not before he gave before the House Un-American Activities Committee a ringing  endorsement of free speech and free association. (August 18, 1955). It was  admirable, even heroic, but ill-advised, leading as it did to his indictment for  contempt of Congress, March 26, 1957. (He was acquitted in 1962.)

 Senator Joseph McCarthy was riding high in those disgraceful days... and Seeger's  well bred gentility was no match for the red-baiting vulgarity that was McCarthy's acrid  stock in trade.
 Seeger must have wondered as he was being pummelled and insulted... castigated  and maligned... demeaned and vilified ... threatened and outraged whether he  wouldn't have been better off by returning to Harvard where he matriculated in  1936. Like many Crimson undergraduates he adored the lifestyle... except for those  pesky classes that got in the way of perfection. In short order Seeger's  grades  dropped, he lost his scholarship, and he and Harvard agreed he should take a hiatus  and come back later.

 In this scenario he would have come back to Cambridge, taking his A.B. degree,  then perhaps a doctorate in musicology with a pleasant domain at one of the Ivies;  Yale perhaps which, like Harvard, had Seeger family connections. This is not just  idle fancy, either. Seeger had the professorial demeanor down pat and he had a  major project at hand, his lifelong interest in finding, hearing, copying, printing,  disseminating, and preserving the people's music that is called folk. It was  important work and he would have done it with thoroughness, care, scrupulous  accuracy.
 But he choose another course, a more difficult and challenging course and even  the verbal brickbats of McCarthy and his minions did not persuade him to take  the soft landing in Cambridge with a gracious house on Francis Ave and the  adulation of generations of undergrads of liberal predilections... he had decided  which side he was on, and that made all the difference.
 "We'll stand it no more, come what may."

 What happened next was a kind of arcane dance... Pete Seeger either alone or as  part of an ensemble (the Weavers, say) would compose a tune that would invariably  contain a stanza, a line, even a single word that would infuriate the Babbitts of Main  Street America.

 The producers would then water it down, preserving the lilt of the music but with lyrics  which irritated no one but the purists like Seeger himself who watched less controversial  performers like Peter, Paul and Mary; Joan Baez and Judy Collins rise high on his work. They  were acceptable to middle America. He most assuredly was not. This must have frustrated  him, but if it did, he kept silent happy to serve the cause of peace, civil rights, social justice.  He was a team player and served the general good, not just his personal gain and  glory.

 Having made this decision, this man of commitment and vision, lived it. He went where  injustice was to be found, where things could be improved, where he could make a  difference and where his songs of hope and dedication rallied the faithful, people whose  wrongs were real but too often ignored, which meant forgotten. Few people knew America  from its roots up more than Seeger and the people he knew he aroused and comforted with  music that soared, reminding us all that the better was always possible, though it might be a  long time coming and demand everything we had.
 Now Pete Seeger rests, the man who sang for so many. At this moment, let the artist he most admired, Bob Dylan, sing for him...

 "May God bless and keep you always/ May your wishes all come true/  May you always do for others/ And let others do for you/  May you build a ladder to the stars/And climb on every rung  May you stay forever young/ Forever young, forever young  May you stay forever young."

 It is not too much to ask for this man of sweet temper and friendly persuasion,  the man who fought for a lifetime for fundamental fairness, equality of  opportunity, acceptance of diversity, for courtesy and community, for  brotherhood and for love, always for love. For here he never stinted.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is the author of over a dozen best selling business and marketing books, several ebooks and over one thousand online articles on a variety of topics. Republished with author's permission by William Buckley   

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